Thanks to Sony Pictures for the chance to see ‘Flatliners’ before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
‘Flatliners’ stars Ellen Paige, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Diego Luna and Keirsey Clemons. The film centres on a group of medical students led by Courtney (Ellen Page) who begin a dangerous medical experiment of stopping their hearts for minutes at a time, in order to find out what happens after death.
The film is a remake/sequel of the 1990’s film of the same name which starred Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland (who makes a brief appearance in the new film) and some very big hair. For a forgettable 90s film one does wonder why studios felt a reboot was necessary.
For a film with the main premise of discovering what happens after death, ‘Flatliners’ spends very little time dealing with the actual subject. Instead, it chooses the more conventional horror/supernatural route which is neither scary or intriguing to watch. The film doesn’t ask any profound questions about life, death, connection with the supernatural or why you’d choose to stop your heart for minutes at a time. Audiences are left with nothing to take away.
All the actors in the film, especially Ellen Page and Nina Dobrev deliver excellent performances, bringing across the wild and untamed ambition of young medical students. The film does have an unexpected plot twist which does come as a pleasant surprise.
The film’s main problem is a lack of tension and intrigue; the film isn’t centred on one idea. Instead, it draws on elements of the supernatural, sci-fi and a predictable love story which makes for a muddled and frankly uninteresting film. It’s the film’s inability to grapple with the concept of life after death (which to the film’s defense can’t be answered in a two hour film) which squeezes the story into the clichéd supernatural/horror formula.
‘Flatliners’ doesn’t posit the question to the audience of “what happens after death?” more like “why was the film re-made?”. Although the concept of the film is intriguing it isn’t really explored.
‘Flatliners’ is one to miss. Remaking a 1990’s film with 49% on Rotten Tomatoes might have been an indication of how it was going to turn out. An unforgiving twenty-first century audience isn’t going to fall for the supernatural clichés of the 90s.
‘Flatliners’ – In cinemas now!